Dutch state will make a loss on ABN Amro sale, says prime minister

Nationalised bank ABN Amro has a year to get ready for a listing on the stock exchange, prime minister Mark Rutte told reporters on Friday.

The cabinet has decided a flotation is the best option for the bank, which was nationalised in 2008, the prime minister said at his weekly press conference.

However, this will not happen until the financial sector is sufficiently stable, the company is ready and there is enough interest in the market. The cabinet will decide next year if these conditions have been met, Rutte said.


The cabinet estimates a flotation could raise €15bn. According to the Financieele Dagblad, the state has invested €29bn in keeping ABN Amro afloat, which would mean taking a considerable loss.

Rutte said the chance that the state would make a profit on the sale is small.

Finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem told the news conference ABN Amro could be sold in three tranches of one third of the shares.


But before a sale could happen, ABN Amro must improve its service and make more savings on salaries, the Labour minister said.

Financial services group ASR, which has also been nationalised, will be either floated or sold to a private buyer. The company has six months to prepare itself for sale, Dijsselbloem said,and there is concrete interest in the company from the market. However, he stressed no definitive decision had yet been taken.

The government has not yet drawn up any plans to deal with SNS Reaal, the financial services group nationalised earlier this year after running into serious problems with its property division.

Nationalised bank ABN Amro booked net profit of €817m in the first half of this year, down 3% on a year ago.


Excluding special items, net profit for the first half of 2013 was €510m, 36% down than the previous year